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There are many acclaimed tales of how Sandy got its name. Whether it was named by Brigham Young for the sandy soil or after the splashy Scottishengineer, Alexander “Sandy” Kinghorn, who ran the first train lines outto the area, is certainly a mystery. But one thing is for sure: the stunning view of the Wasatch Mountains and Little Cottonwood Canyon has been enjoyed by nomadic bands of Indians, miners, Mormon settlers, and today’s vast community alike. The first settlers moved in during the 1860s and 1870s, and today Sandy City is home to over 90,000 residents.

The city sports so many amenities, it’s no wonder visitors and locals love to spend time in Utah. The numerous well-planned trails systems. The diverse consumer shows at the South Towne Expo Center. Mega sporting-goods shopping at Scheels. The exhilarating soccer games at REAL stadium. Golfing galore at Willow Creek and Hidden Valley country clubs as well at River Oaks Golf Course and Pebblebrook Golf & Recreation. And, the beautiful “backyard” canyons for camping, skiing at Alta and Snowbird Resorts, and a chance to get away from urban life in just minutes and see the night stars burn brighter. To the east of Sandy, 30,000 acres of Lone Peak Wilderness and 12,000 acres of Twin Peak Wilderness tower.

There are dozens of unique and memorable mountain towns, but Sandy will be the world’s first mountain city. With the latest development underway, The Cairns boasts distinctive features the most discerning tourists will want or need. Plus, this area between 106th South to 90th South and from 1-15 to the TRAX line will offer a true “live, work, play” experience and the ultimate mountain base camp community. Over the next 30 years, there are plans for 20 million square feet of development including office, retail, and residential living.

So much fun can be had in Sandy from great movie/restaurant hubs like Jordan Commons and Union Heights to the horse and walking trails of Dimple Dell. With over a hundred dining establishments, there are flavors to appeal to anyone’s tastes. Plus, Sandy has a vibrant arts program with plays, musicals, and arts shows throughout the year. The Sandy Amphitheater provides a rich summer season of splendid outdoor entertainment with stunning views of the valley and mountains as the shows start any given evening. But, the fun doesn’t stop there—there's the Annual Balloon Festival in August, the Heritage Festival in Historic Sandy, and free Movies In The Park throughout the warmer months.

While in Sandy, you can go from pedaling on singletrack to listening to a movie soundtrack; from looking out your corner office to watching a corner kick on the soccer pitch. So follow the cairns from your “base camp” and get out there to your next adventure.

Related: Your Guide to Skiing & Staying in Sandy


As they say, when you play hard, you should eat hard. Actually, no one says that, but you get the point. So eat, drink, and be merry! Sandy is dotted with pockets of dining hubs as well as exquisite eating establishments along the byways and nooks and crannies of the city. There is far too much savory charm to list everything, but here are highlights of Sandy’s “neighborhood” nosh.

Eating at One Fourteen

Right off of 114th South and I-15, you'll run into a wonderland of tasty and healthy dining choices such as Pizza Limone, Freebirds World Burrito, Togo’s Great Sandywiches, and Blue Lemon.

7th East Gems

Just meander down 7th East and you'll find some surprising delectable treasures. Order the finest handcrafted cheesecake you’ve ever had at Tin Roof Grill as featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. Enjoy a variety of specialty entrees coupled with a finale of homemade sorbet at Tiburon Fine Dining. Stop by for “happy hour” at Mizumi Sushi Bar & Grill for gluten-free choices, beautifully displayed sushi and tempura that rivals any you’ve had.

Eclectic Union Square

Need a fantastic caterer or a mouthwatering deli lunch? Step inside Wasatch Deli. Looking for a smorgasbord of omelet choices? Scramble your way to Brittons. Want to change it up with the taste of Puerto Rico? Visit Adobo’s Caribbean Grill, a small family-run restaurant with plain décor but flashy food.

Around the Quarry Bend

You can’t beat the award-winning traditional Italian at Fratelli Ristorante where the family brings their grandmother’s cooking secrets to patrons—her photos are even on the wall. At Salt City Burgers, you'll find unique tantalizers like the Smokehouse Chicken Burger or the Sunrise Burger cooked to order with fried egg, bacon, and cheddar.

Union Heights

Tsunami pairs premium sushi and innovative cuisine with a fun contemporary atmosphere. And The Wasatch Broiler and Grill offers variety like no other—be sure to try their “We chill it, then grill it!” entrees.

Along State Street and the Heart of Sandy

Since 1971, Johanna’s Restaurant has been providing hearty down-home cooking with favorites like piping-hot scones, biscuit chicken cordon bleu, or the Chuck Wagon Breakfast. Also try the chocolate chip teddy bear pancakes. At the India House, the aromatic fragrances of curries, samosas, and soups commingle in the air, and it's the perfect destination for a meeting while enjoying the divine lunch buffet. If you're craving quick artisan pizzas and salads, then Zilios is the answer—quick, high-quality freshness that’s not “fast food.” And who says you can’t get some of the best Thai food in a strip mall? Simply Thai near State and 106th offers the finest authentic Thai favorites such as Jasmine rice, classic lettuce wraps, and outstanding entrée flavors like roasted peanuts, fresh ginger, cilantro, sweet plum, coconut milk, Thai basil, and tangy sweet and sour.

Up 94th

Their website says it all: www.eatgoodkarma.com. Karma is Indian cuisine with an emphasis on sustainable, organic, and fair-trade spices, and is vegan and gluten-free to boot. And just across from there, find La Costa Mexican, featuring unique dishes such as various unique carne asada entrees, Huevos Machaca, and 15 seafood dishes. Just up the hill from La Costa, find Smoky Mountain Pizza with uncommon whammies like Brie Kisses, Insalata Napoli, and Primavera and Great White pizzas. Then, within a hop, skip and a jump, you can feed your inner bear at Black Bear Diner with an endless selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items and killer desserts like Olga’s Bread Pudding or Sugar Bear’s Lava Cake (gluten-free, no less).

If you’re looking for nightlife (maybe even a little sin in Sandy?) then make sure you swing on by Club 90. The club boasts a massive dance floor, expansive outdoor seating and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. And the newest nightlife addition to the ‘hood is Sandy Station, where there’s dance parties, free pool nights, and even PaintNite.


South Towne Center offers hassle-free shopping, as you don't have to fight your way through town to get to this mall—it's located just off of 106th and I-15. The Merry-Go-Round and train are family favorites. Under new ownership in the fall of 2014, South Towne Center will undergo a beautiful makeover that incorporates a new, more contemporary design using rich materials like stone and wood, cozy and comfortable seating, and outdoor elements emphasized in interior design.

When you come to shop in Sandy, you find plazas and shopping center areas along all its major arteries. In fact, there are 17 such locations. At Quarry Bend, you can stop for a bite after doing your grocery shopping, picking up materials for your DIY project, getting your car detailed, or conceiving your latest craft creation. At Union Square, discover yarn galore at the Unraveled Sheep, the largest selection of competitively priced instruments at Wasatch Musician, and authentic Native American Artists’ pieces at Southwest Jewelry.

If proximity matters when car shopping, then the Southtowne Automall allows you to see a wealth of makes and models including Chrysler Jeep, Dodge Ram, Subaru, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Honda, and then everything you can image in used at the LHM Supermarket and National Auto Plaza.

For everything from last-minute ski supplies to snowboard rentals and from adventure accessories to survival gear, REI has you covered. Another option for on-the-snow rentals in the area is AJ Motion Sports. And with everything from skis to fishing gear to guns to bike repair, Scheels can keep you busy for hours. There's even a ferris wheel and bowling lanes inside the store.

Between Jordan Commons and South Towne Center, and the surrounding strips of shopping bliss, you can find literally everything you’d ever want. There’s clothing, household goods, and much more. Sandy is the destination for your multi-stop shopping spree.


It’s easy to say “let’s all go to the movies” in Sandy. With Jordan Commons and Union Heights, you can gather for dinner and see your latest cinema enticement. Or if you're a “movie saver,” then Cinemark Movies 9 always features the latest post-release favorites. Sandy has the most movie screens in Utah.

Hey, soccer fans! The Rio Tinto Stadium is right off of 90th South and I-15 for convenience for Real soccer enthusiasts. Real Salt Lake’s American professional soccer club competes as a member of the Western Conference in Major League Soccer. Real Salt Lake won the 2009 MLS Cup and were runners up in 2013. This Sandy venue is an exhilarating soccer icon for the state. The title “Real” is a Spanish word which means “royal” in English. In Spain the term is used only by clubs who have received royal patronage from a reigning Spanish King. The name was chosen to piggyback on the worldwide fame of Real Madrid to ensure the team would clearly be associated with “association football” by name alone.

People from all over visit the mammoth consumers shows at South Towne Exposition Center, shows such as the Utah Sportman’s Show, Safe Kids Fair, Home & Garden Festival, Gem Faire, Utah Baby Show, Spring Bridal Extravaganza, Dream Home Expo, Rocky Mountain Gun Show, Fit Con, and so many more. And, in 2016, FantasyCon will make its debut in Sandy!

There’s plenty of outdoor adventure to be had in Sandy “down in the gully,” along the Jordan River trail, up the canyons, or throughout the city on many well-established trails. You can learn to rock climb on Momentum Climbing Gym’s beginner wall or practice leading difficult overhanging routes. This is one of the largest climbing gyms west of the Mississippi and offers fun challenges for every ability.

Families might enjoy learning all about Sandy’s history at the Sandy Museum, which is located in the former ZCMI Co-Op. The educational Sego Lily Gardens is the place to learn water-wise landscape principles; plus, it’s a beautiful spot. Classic Fun Center is home to roller skating, arcades, laser tag, bounce houses, and more.


Visiting skiers love to settle in Sandy City for the easy access to amazing powder skiing. It's close to the mountains and offers endless conveniences—specifically, nine accommodation properties. Among these are Best Western Cottontree, located off of I-15, just 20 minutes from Salt Lake City, which provides a pet-friendly hotel experience and 40-inch flat-screen TVs in the newly renovated rooms.

Additionally, Country Inn & Suites offers room accommodations including granite-appointed bathrooms and pillow-top mattresses. At Residence Inn by Marriott, guests can enjoy a free breakfast, free Internet access, and a 24-hour fitness center. Finally, the Hyatt House, seen from the I-15 freeway in Sandy, provides world-class features including fully equipped kitchen/living areas, a plush Hyatt Grand Bed™ and a complimentary grocery shopping service.

Check out the classic charm of a bed and breakfast at three locations in Sandy. The four-room Alta Hills Farm has all the amenities plus plenty of charm, thanks in part to the 42-stall horse barn on the grounds. The Hansen House is a Victorian mansion on the National Register of Historic Places; after a restful night sleep in one of the six rooms, you’ll love a delicious breakfast in the formal dining room. The Sandy Castle Creek Inn offers jetted tubs and cozy fireplaces in every room, not to mention classy castle-themed decor and a multi-course breakfast.


If you could see an arial shot of the Sandy Skate Park, you'd realize the magnitude of this youth and family community treasure, which is home to skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX freestyle biking. The city hosts special family nights during the year to provide a fun skate environment for the little ones. Weather permitting, this park is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tucked up along the foothills at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, La Caille sits on 20 elegantly groomed acres and offers an unmatched experience and atmosphere. You'll feel like you stepped into an extravagant European dream. The restaurant, Grand Pavilion, and gardens all provide spectacular settings for dinner or a private party. This gem is literally hidden, and here you can enjoy a stroll on three-acres of vineyards, a cool canyon breeze on the patio, and a place to host an unforgettable event.

Dogs love Sandy, especially from April to October. At 9980 South and 300 East, Sandy has developed a spectacular off-leash dog park with trees, benches, and walking trails. Every 2-3 weeks, dogs and their owners switch from the West Grass side to the East Gravel side in order to keep the park open all season, to keep the grass nice, and to allow the turf to heal during the warmer months.

Every once in a while you find a hidden gem in the least expected place. From the outside, Chadwick Lighting doesn’t compare to what you'll find inside. This lighting store offers custom design and will find the perfect piece of unique lighting for you. In the showroom, you'll see the latest fixtures from around the globe, from French Country to modern designs. They also do site visits for renovation or construction to ensure that the original lighting design is fully realized.

The annual Sandy Balloon Festival is a two-day extravaganza of hot air balloon fun for the whole family. Get there early for the sunrise launch or head over in the evening for a nighttime balloon glow party with food and entertainment.